The first day going cold turkey was easy, and the only issue was what to do with all of the extra time on my hands. On the second day as usual I got up early, made a cup and plunked down in front of the computer. I opened my home page, and there was zip, nada, squat.
I remembered at that point there is no internet service at the house, and there won't be for a week. Cold sweat started beading on my forehead. I looked down at my tremoring hands. "Stop it" my brain quavered. "This is no big deal. I'll watch some news on the TV instead of reading it on Google. It will be okay."
I turn on the early news, and there are five minutes of commercials for every three minutes of news. I don't watch TV live anymore, and I can't fast forward live TV.
I sit there like a lobotomized zombie staring at the flickering images. The anxiety gnaws at me. "What about my email? How can I write on the Installers Rant? I need to download some Raymarine software. What if someones boat is sinking, and they're trying to get a hold of me? Maybe an outbreak of Bubonic plague is starting and I don't know it? There could me a meteor coming towards me right now!"
I can't take it any longer. I stare at my small laptop on the bookshelf. "No! I'm stronger than this," I stammer under my breath, but I wasn't. Just this once. It will be okay, no one will know." I throw on clothes, and put on sunglasses. I add a ball cap, and pull it down low. The laptop goes into a brown paper bag, and I drive to Starbucks. With a fresh cup I furtively hunch down in a patio corner. I sneak the laptop out of the paper bag, turn it on, and use WiFi to log on.
I could instantly feel relief spreading through me. The sun was shining, and I was now king of the world. E-mails are answered, software downloaded, and no asteroids are heading to my locale. I thought to myself, "I think I will put the laptop in the truck today just for safety's sake. I know I won't use it, because I'm stronger than this addiction."
New fiber optic cable was being installed at the house, and it was going to take a sluggish week to do. It really startled me how much I need the Internet, and how often I use it. Responding to the pile of daily e-mails, writing on the blog, research for articles, or finding parts for a job. It's typically on 24/7 at the house. The sense of instantaneous communication world wide is indeed addicting, but in a good way for most of us. I don't use it nonstop but when I want it, I want it right now, and conveniently available on my computer. My skin is still itching a bit, and I'm rolling two RJ45 connectors around in my palm. They're more comforting than steel balls. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.
The photo is a still from the movie Reefer Madness and is in the public domain. It has an interesting history, from an interesting time.